What Are the Symptoms of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

Symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm are often silent, but when present, the person notices a pulsing near his navel and pain in the abdomen or on one side of the abdomen that is deep and continuous, says Mayo Clinic. Back pain is another symptom.

A doctor might also find a mass in the patient's abdomen, and the abdomen might be rigid, according to MedlinePlus. If the aneurysm ruptures, the pain is sudden, severe and constant and may spread from the abdomen to the legs or the groin, says MedlinePlus. Other symptoms are clammy skin, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and tachycardia. The patient also loses consciousness and goes into shock. This is a medical emergency.

If the aneurysm ruptures, it needs to be surgically repaired, says MedlinePlus. In open surgery, the physician makes a large incision in the abdomen and repairs the blood vessel with a synthetic graft. In endovascular stent grafting, the surgeon inserts a stent into the femoral artery and uses an X-ray machine to guide it to the aneurysm, where it is installed. Surgery is rarely performed if the aneurysm is small and asymptomatic. However, the physician monitors it.

People at high risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms are male smokers who have high blood pressure, claims MedlinePlus. They sometimes have a genetic disposition to the disorder.